While the debate rages on — on whether high exposure to cell phone radiation is actually harmful to humans, in rats and mice, it has been found to have dire effects.
According to a study conducted by the National Toxicology Program (NTP), cell phone radiation led to the growth of tumours in the hearts of the test subjects.
The researchers explained that high frequency radiation — like x-rays and gamma rays — carry enough energy to damage DNA inside cells, which can give rise to cancer.
They added that RFR is at the lower energy end of the spectrum, although it is not the type of radiation that can cause cancer by damaging DNA, “there have been concerns that it might alter tissue in other ways that could lead to cancer”.
The NTP researchers noted that the “predominant source of human exposure to RFR occurs through the use of cellular phone handsets”.
The study exposed the animals to different levels of RFR from around the maximum that is legally allowed for cell phones in the US to around four times that level.
The exposure to RFR occurred in pattern of 10 minutes on, 10 minutes off, for a total of just over nine hours per day, lasting for two years.
John Bucher, a senior scientist with the NTP, says two years of age in a rat or mouse is about 70 years in a human.
The findings revealed tumours in tissue around the nerves in the hearts of male rats, but not of female rats or male or female mice.
“The levels and duration of exposure to RFR were much greater than what people experience with even the highest level of cell phone use, and exposed the rodents’ whole bodies,” Bucher.
Bucher said the results “should not be directly extrapolated to human cell phone usage”.
He said the tumours they saw “are similar to tumours previously reported in some studies of frequent cell phone users”.
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